The Post In Which I Piss Off Everybody
Or, How I Learned To Stop Caring.
By Michael Z. Williamson (reprinted with permission)
By way of introduction, I'd like to explain some of my former positions. Please do not reply and tell me why I'm wrong. That's not relevant to this post. These WERE my positions, for right or wrong.
I used to believe women had a right to reproductive choice. As a male, I will obviously never have an abortion. I supported access because birth control is cheaper than abortions, abortions are cheaper than welfare, welfare is cheaper than jail. And I don't believe the government is capable of legislating for every circumstance. Most of the time, a woman and her doctor will make a decision that works for the situation, and until a baby is an independent organism, it's a parasite. This was also important to me because my wife was warned that a further pregnancy could kill her. That's been surgically remedied and is no longer a problem.
I used to believe gays were entitled to relate as they wished, including marriage. What two people do together doesn't affect me unless I'm one of them.
I used to believe it was wrong to treat people differently based on their skin color. Even if a few people fit a stereotype, millions of others do not.
I used to believe there should be a strong division between church and state, that any support of a religious entity using property of the state constituted endorsement and was wrong.
I used to believe people had a right to protest, campaign, rant and create non-violent incidents to express themselves and their positions. I also believed they had a right to publish as they chose. I believed they were entitled to burn the Flag in protest, to make a statement.
I have obviously been at odds with conservatives over these positions. There have been loud arguments, heated discussions and occasional insults.
I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court agrees with me, which means that right is as valid as abortion, sexual privacy, protest and speech.
This should mean that strict scrutiny applies, meaning the government needs to prove the fabric of society itself is at risk before limiting it. Just as the Press has the right to broadcast troop movements it can see or acquire, regardless of casualties, I have the right to own weapons, regardless of how someone else may act. "Someone might get hurt" is an invalid excuse for restriction.
In fact, it's easy enough to prove that freedom of the press HAS caused harm and even death to people, whether it's troop movements, or the address of a person of interest.
The rights of gays to relate as they wish brings the risk of AIDS (60% of all cases are from gay relations, not drugs or medical contamination.)
It's provable that if we required proof of need before awarding a driver's license, we'd have less car accidents.
So, the argument that "guns kill people" is null and irrelevant to the discussion. Lots of things kill people. That's not relevant to our civil rights.
Now, over this position, I've had at least 5 death threats (though of course, no "liberal" actually has the balls to attempt so).
I've twice been reported to Family Services on the grounds that I have guns in the house, which means I'm a danger to my kids (which complaints were laughed at, here in Indiana).
I've been accused of racism...because I own guns.
I've been accused of fascism…because I own guns.
I've been called a coward…no "real man" needs a gun to protect himself. This is a surprise to me as a veteran, who carried guns regularly for the purpose of protecting myself and others, but what do I know?
I've been called a "Fat, Fox News watching, McDonald's munching, inbred, retarded, drooling redneck imbecile."
I've been told I have a small penis.
I've been told I'm insane to "imagine fighting the government" by people with no military experience who also hate the government, sometimes for the same reasons.
I've had a date tell me I "seem so normal, for a gun nut."
I've been called a "rightwinger." Indeed. A gay/female/black/abortion/separation of church and state/free speech supporting rightwinger.
I've been told this right doesn't exist, that if it exists I can't "pretend" it's more important than wage inequality for women, or gay marriage.
When the Heller Decision was decided in favor of gun ownership, I was told "I hope you all shoot yourselves with guns, because I can't marry the man I love!" by an alleged friend.
There's apparently a "Right to feel safe," and my owning a gun destroys it, because I might shoot someone. However, if I say a gun makes me feel safe, I'm paranoid and insane.
I've been told I support "baby killers."
I've been threatened with having my Wikipedia page vandalized, by someone who claimed he was more of a man than me.
I've been told I can't be trusted. How can anyone know I won't go on a shooting spree, because I own an "assault rifle"?
So much for liberal tolerance.
I didn't realize I was so evil and hateful an individual I deserved to be treated in such fashion.
But when I look at the arguments, I think they may be correct:
"At the time the Constitution was written, the weapons in question were muskets."
You know what? You're right. And marriage was between one man and one woman. So what's with gay marriage? No longer will I offer any moral support, oppose any online statements attacking it, speak out for it. They have the same right as anyone—to marry someone of the opposite gender. And given that all gays support raping little boys (just like all gun owners support shooting school kids), I don't think I can support them. We should do things just the way they were done 220 years ago. That's the liberal way.
"The Heller Decision was by an activist court. It doesn't count."
Indeed. Just like Roe v Wade was an activist decision. It doesn't count.
"We're not trying to take your guns away, just have reasonable limits. It's a compromise."
And some people want reasonable limits on abortion, like waiting periods, gestational time limits, ultrasound, etc. It's a reasonable response to an activist court decision, and reasonable restrictions on a right, for public benefit. Don't come whining about your right to murder babies, and I won't come to you whining about my right to shoot school kids.
And no one is saying you can't ride the bus. You just have to sit where people think is reasonable. No one is saying women can't work. They just have to get paid what is reasonable for the work they do, allowing for the fact they're going to leave the workplace and raise a family. It's a compromise.
"Assault weapons are an extreme interpretation."
True. And not allowing any religious emblems on government premises is an extreme interpretation. As long as they're privately paid for, what's it to you? No one is saying you can't belong to the Christian church of your choice, just not to extreme groups, like atheists or Muslims. It would be paranoid to think anyone was trying to infringe on your legitimate right to be free from state religion, just like I'd be paranoid to think they wanted to take my guns. Quite a few states had official churches well into the 1800s. This is not an infringement on your freedom of religion.
"Given Sandy Hook, you have to make reasonable compromises."
"We just want licensing and safe storage requirements so the wrong people don't get guns."
"Publicizing the information lets people make informed choices about who they live near."
Accepted. In exchange, gay men should make reasonable compromises over Penn State. They will simply have to accept being registered and kept a safe distance from children. This isn't a violation of their rights. It's just common sense. The public has a right to know.
This should apply to protests, too. No reasonable person would object to being identified. They should welcome it—it means they can't be wrongly maligned. All union members, blacks, gays and feminists should be signed in with ID before a march or gathering, just so we can track the real criminals to keep the rest safe.
"The country survived without assault weapons for 240 years."
True (well, no, it was 135 years, depending on your definition of "assault weapon"). And it survived without women in combat even longer. The infantry's trying to scare off women? Serves them right. Things were working just fine the way they were.
"This woman is being badly portrayed on the cover of a book."
No, no, that's an accurate portrayal, just like all military contractors are sociopathic mercenaries who torture people, all gun owners are moral cowards with Walter Mitty complexes and all gun dealers exist to make money from gangbangers. It's silly to suggest one group is singled out for inaccurate portrayals when we know the other portrayals are spot on.
Yup. I'm taking you at your word. Want money? Don't care. Want a petition signed? Call someone who who gives a shit. Want a link spread? Yawn. Women or gays or blacks or Hispanics don't feel they're being treated nicely? So what?
First they came for the blacks, and I spoke up because it was wrong, even though I'm not black.
Then they came for the gays, and I spoke up, even though I'm not gay.
Then they came for the Muslims, and I spoke up, because it was wrong, even though I'm an atheist.
When they came for illegal aliens, I spoke up, even though I'm a legal immigrant.
Then they came for the pornographers, rebels and dissenters and their speech and flag burning, and I spoke up, because rights are not only for the establishment.
Then they came for the gun owners, and you liberal shitbags threw me under the bus, even though I'd done nothing wrong. So when they come to put you on the train, you can fucking choke and die.
Or you can commit seppuku with a chainsaw. I really don't care anymore. This is the end of my support for any liberal cause, because liberals have become anything but.
UPDATE: A friend of mine observes that he voted for legalized pot and gay marriage in his state, and now those same activists, with time and resources freed up, are attacking his right to keep and bear arms.
No, it really doesn't make sense to help them, they will only stab you in the back. They're not "liberals" and they don't want "liberty." They want liberty for them, but not for you.